Tag: ‘Baby’

Diego-san humanoid robot baby

18 Jan 2010

Researchers from the Machine Perception Laboratory at the University of California, San Diego have teamed up with Japanese robotics firm Kokoro Co., Ltd. to create a sophisticated humanoid robot modeled after a 1-year-old child.

Diego-san baby robot --

The baby robot -- named "Diego-san" -- is designed to help researchers study how infants develop motor skills during the first year of life, according to a recent Kokoro newsletter (PDF). In addition to providing clues about how infants interact with the physical world, researchers will also use the robot to explore how babies acquire and refine the ability to use nonverbal communication such as gestures and facial expressions.

Diego-san baby robot -- Diego-san baby robot --

Diego-san's body has over 60 moving parts, making it Kokoro's most sophisticated robot to date. The robot weighs 30 kilograms (66 lbs) and is 1.3 meters (4 ft 3 in) tall, which is quite a bit larger than the average 1-year-old.

The baby humanoid also has a rather sizable head, thanks to 20 moving parts that allow it to make facial expressions, along with high-resolution cameras for eyes, an audio speaker in the mouth, and 6-axis accelerometers in the ears that allow it to detect orientation and movement.

Diego-san baby robot -- Diego-san baby robot --

Other features include 5-fingered hands capable of holding objects such as plastic bottles, sensors that detect the amount of pressure placed on different joints in its body, and the ability to stand up from a sitting position in a chair.

Apparently, Diego-san's face is still under development (the rubber face shown in the photos is just the first prototype). The researchers are still debating about whether the robot should have a realistic human-like face or one that looks more mechanical.

[Source: Kokoro News (PDF) via BotJunkie via somebadideas]

CB2 baby robot developing social skills

06 Apr 2009

CB2 baby robot --

In the nearly two years since it was first unveiled to the world, the Child-robot with Biomimetic Body, or CB2, has been developing social skills by interacting with humans and watching their facial expressions, according to its creators at Osaka University.

Comprised of robotics engineers, brain specialists, psychologists and other experts, the research team has been teaching the android to think like a baby by having it evaluate facial expressions and classify them into basic categories, such as happiness and sadness.


+ Video of CB2 from June 2007

The 130-centimter (4 ft 4 in) tall, 33-kilogram (73 lb) robot is equipped with eye cameras that record emotional expressions. Designed to learn like an infant, the robot can memorize facial expressions and match them with physical sensations, which it detects via 197 pressure sensors under a suit of soft, silicone skin.

CB2 baby robot --

In addition to watching faces, CB2 has been learning to walk. With 51 pneumatic "muscles," the little android can now amble through a room more smoothly than it could nearly two years ago, though it still requires the aid of a human.

CB2 baby robot --

Within two years, the researchers hope the robot will gain the intelligence of a two-year-old child and the ability to speak in basic sentences. In the coming decades, the researchers expect to develop a "robo species" that has learning abilities somewhere between those of humans and chimps.

CB2 baby robot --

[Link: AFP]

Giant baby robot spits fire on Roppongi (pics)

29 Mar 2009

Giant Toryayan at Roppongi Art Night --

Sculptor Kenji Yanobe's Giant Torayan robot, a 7.2-meter (24-ft) tall mechanical baby that sings, dances and spits fire, was sighted in Tokyo's Roppongi district last night. The fire-breathing robot spent the night on center stage at "Roppongi Art Night," an all-night event featuring installations and performances by dozens of artists at various venues in the area.

Giant Toryayan at Roppongi Art Night --
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Giant Toryayan at Roppongi Art Night --
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Giant Toryayan at Roppongi Art Night -- Giant Toryayan at Roppongi Art Night --
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Giant Toryayan at Roppongi Art Night --
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Giant Toryayan at Roppongi Art Night --
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Frozen baby mammoth headed to Japan

09 Jul 2007

Baby mammoth --- Researchers at Japan's Jikei University will soon be checking the mailbox for a cool package from Siberia -- the recently discovered frozen body of an ancient baby mammoth. The nearly complete body of the female calf, said to be one of the best-preserved specimens of frozen mammoth ever discovered, is estimated to have been less than one year old before it was preserved in ice about 10,000 years ago.

According to the Russian Tass news agency, a reindeer herder stumbled upon the 130 cm (4 ft 3 in) tall, 50 kg (110 lbs) frozen mammoth in May in an area of permafrost in northwestern Siberia, near the Yuribey River on the Yamal Peninsula, which extends into the Kara Sea. The mammoth, whose trunk and eyes remain intact and which still has some fur on its body, was shown to an international panel of experts that convened on July 5 in the town of Salekhard, near the discovery site.

Preparations are now being made to ship the baby mammoth to Jikei University School of Medicine, where researchers will use advanced computed tomography (CT) scanners to obtain three-dimensional images of its internal organs. "This is the first opportunity for anyone to perform an analysis on a complete mammoth body," says Jikei University professor Naoki Suzuki, "and it should provide a more complete picture of its anatomy and how it lived."

[Source: Yomiuri]

CB2 baby humanoid robot

01 Jun 2007

CB2, baby humanoid robot --

On June 1, researchers from Osaka University's Graduate School of Engineering unveiled a robot that acts like a human infant, which they hope may one day help scientists better understand the child development process.

The researchers have named the baby robot "CB2," and for now, it is designed to function as a 1- to 2-year-old child, gazing intently at its surroundings, squirming about on the floor and lighting up the room with child-like charm.

CB2, baby humanoid robot -- The 130 cm long, 33 kg robot features 56 air cylinders that serve as muscles. With cameras for eyes and microphones for ears, and with 197 tactile sensors embedded in the layer of soft silicone skin covering its entire body, CB2 is well-equipped to take in environmental stimuli. When CB2's shoulders are tapped, it blinks as if surprised, stops moving, and turns its gaze toward the person who touched it, and when a toy is dangled in front of its eyes, it appears to devote all its energy to trying to reach for it. CB2 also has a set of artificial vocal chords that it uses to speak baby talk.

The researchers say that once CB2 is equipped with software that gives it the ability to learn, they will be very interested in undertaking the long-term challenge of teaching it how to walk and talk.

[Source: Asahi]

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CB2, baby humanoid robot

UPDATE: Check out videos of little CB2 -- whose full name is "Child-robot with Biomimetic Body." Fans of Actroid and Geminoid might recognize one of the faces in the videos -- that of robot designer Dr. Ishiguro.

Video 1: Toward the end of this report, the announcer says that within the next four years, researchers at the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) -- who worked with Osaka University to develop CB2 -- hope to create a slightly more advanced version of the robot that has the vocabulary and cognitive skills of a 3-year-old child. At the end of the report, the Osaka University project leader says this type of "soft" robot technology will facilitate communication between humans and robots, which will prove useful for research purposes and for developing robots that can better assist and entertain us in our day-to-day lives.

Video 2: This report also mentions that the research team hopes to eventually create a robot that children can play with.

Baby albino giant salamanders in Hiroshima

20 Oct 2006

Albino Japanese Giant Salamanders --

A pair of baby albino Japanese Giant Salamanders (Andrias japonicus) discovered this past spring in a mountainous area of Hiroshima prefecture are being kept at Hiroshima's Asa Zoo for the purpose of ecological research. The two specimens were found along with three other albino salamanders at the same location.

The Japanese Giant Salamander, which can grow up to 140 cm (4 ft. 8 in.) long and live for up to 80 years, is an endangered species that has been officially designated one of Japan's living national treasures. Young Japanese Giant Salamanders typically have black skin that develops into a mottled brown and black with age, and the occurrence of albinos is extremely rare. The discovery of a group of albino Japanese Giant Salamanders is unprecedented.

The salamanders were discovered in a mountain stream near the town of Kitahiroshima when farmers were diverting water to their fields. A sandy area became exposed as the water level fell, revealing a group of thirty salamander larvae, five of which were albinos.

Chie Ashikaga, a zookeeper with 35 years of experience in raising Japanese Giant Salamanders, says, "I've never heard of anyone finding five albinos together. This is due either to environmental changes or to genes passed on by one of their albino parents. With many mysteries surrounding the Japanese Giant Salamander, these specimens might give us a better understanding of the ecology."

Asa Zoo will place the albinos on public display beginning October 21.

[Source: Asahi Shimbun]

Diamonds made from baby hair

01 Sep 2006

Heart-In Baby Diamond

New Age Diamonds, a Russian company specializing in the production of gem-quality synthetic diamonds, has entered the Japanese market with a new product called the "Heart-In Baby Diamond" -- a synthetic diamond made from the hair of newborn babies.

The Heart-In Baby Diamond is the latest addition to the company's "Your Personal Diamond" (YPD) line of commemorative diamonds, which are custom-made from the hair or fur of your favorite person or pet, living or departed.

Heart-In Baby Diamond prices range from 403,000 yen (US$3,500) for a 0.2-carat canary yellow diamond to 1,934,000 yen (US$17,000) for a 0.8-carat chameleon red diamond.

As Japan's population begins to shrink, newborn babies become all the more precious and each birth is a greater cause for celebration. In addition, fewer mouths to feed results in increased amounts of disposable household wealth. New Age Diamonds appears to be capitalizing on these two factors by offering proud new parents an innovative and luxurious way to bestow gratitude on their blessed offspring.

[Via: Slashdot Japan]

Combi’s new maglev baby rocker

01 Feb 2006

Combi's maglev baby rockerCombi’s maglev “Roanju Auto Swing” baby rocker will hit stores on February 3, the company announced today. The rocker, which uses electromagnets to gently swing its passenger, will be available in two models -- the standard model RU-650 (68,250 yen) and the luxury model RU-700 (73,500 yen). The company is aiming for sales of 40,000 units in the first year.

A light push of the hand activates the electromagnet-powered swinging, which continues for about 15 minutes. The rocker is silent compared to motor-driven models -- better for the little passenger to enjoy the audio system pre-loaded with 7 songs, including lullabies by Mozart and Brahms, and Grandfather's Clock.

The sides of the rocker fold down to simplify the process of changing diapers, and the luxury model features an ergonomic inner sheet that supports the child’s head and back in a comfortable position. Designed for ages 0 to 4, the rocker is available in soft white or clear yellow (standard model), or in ivory (luxury model).

[Source: Nikkei BP]